Friday's comic!

Aug. 18th, 2017 01:10 am
murgatroyd666: (von Zinzer Trilobite)
[personal profile] murgatroyd666 posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170818

Yes, this is definitely a Raymond Chandler story ...
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Who gets to read "Riddles in the Dark" when reading The Hobbit out loud. =>

(I thought I was all set to read it to the Pip, since Chad got to read it to SteelyKid! But, foolishly, since chapter 3 is pretty short, I let the Pip talk me into just a little of chapter four last night . . . without checking how much of chapter 4 was left, or asking Chad to save chapter 5 for me.)

(Last time I read even-numbered chapters through chapter 12, then Chad read chapters 13 & 14 together, so I did odd-numbered from fifteen on; which, to be fair, now that we're back on me doing even-numbered, means I get to do the spiders and Smaug again, which were great fun. Still! "Riddles in the Dark"!)

"Have I told you lately"

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:38 pm
rosefox: Me looking at Kit and both of us grinning. (me and kit)
[personal profile] rosefox
It's my late night at the office. I videocalled home to say goodnight to the baby. They were tired, so after a while they waved bye-bye. I said "Okay, Kit, bye-bye! I love you!" and signed love you.

And they signed love back.

Me: [tears]
X: [tears]
Kit: [earnestly signing love at the camera]

My baby told me they love me. I'll just be here in a little melted puddle forever.
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Ian McEwan's acclaimed novels On Chesil Beach and Saturday both take place over the course of a single day, in an improbably lily-white version of England. Race-bending this formula is the fundamentally good idea beneath Black Bread White Beer. When we meet Amal and his white wife Claud, they have just lost a pregnancy in the first trimester, but they go ahead and visit Claud's parents in East Sussex as planned.

The novel is at its sharpest and funniest when Amal is reporting his Pakistani parents' reactions to his horrible in-laws:
‘What she means is, we wish you all the luck in the world, Amal, but you must watch your back. Her people look like a bunch of backstabbers. Never trust them for an instant.’

There are also some moving passages where Amal imagines what he and Claud would be like as parents:
Theirs would not be paraded about like Sussex show ponies. There were plenty of cool, funky children they could take as their template.

or what their lives would be like child-free:
They could buy a holiday home abroad. Two. One on each hemisphere if that is what would make her happy. He racks his mind to think of the childless couples they know – not the kids from the office; guys their age and older – but cannot dredge any up. In their immediate circle, there are no trailblazers, only conformists. No matter. They are taste makers, she and him. They can set the precedent.

As with McEwan, though, I found these characters difficult to warm to. Amal and Claud both struck me as joyless corporate drones, preoccupied with status, their world devoid of beauty and pleasure. A technically adroit book, but not for me.

Aziz Ansari, Modern Romance, 2015

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:01 am
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
I loved Aziz Ansari in Parks and Recreation and I revere his own series, Master of None. The "Thanksgiving" episode of Master of None is one of the best things I have ever seen on television. So I picked up Modern Romance with some enthusiasm.

In a classic Tom Haverford move, rather than just write the obligatory you-have-succeeded-as-a-comedian-on-TV book (Bossypants, Girl Walks Into a Bar, I'm Just a Person, Paddle Your Own Canoe, Self-Inflicted Wounds, The Bedwetter, Yes Please... yeah, it's a genre), Ansari teamed up with Stanford sociologist Eric Klinenberg to figure out both why technologically-mediated dating is such an unrelieved horror show and, reading between the lines, why Ansari was finding it difficult to meet a nice woman.

The resulting book reminded me a bit of Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything in that it's as curious and interesting as it is funny. Ansari's quizzical sweetness shines especially in his reporting on the specific dating scenes in Buenos Aires, Doha, Paris and Tokyo.
In Japan, posting any pictures of yourself, especially selfie-style photos, comes off as really douchey. Kana, an attractive, single twenty-nine-year-old, remarked: “All the foreign people who use selfies on their profile pic? The Japanese feel like that’s so narcissistic.” In her experience, pictures on dating sites would generally include more than two people. Sometimes the person wouldn’t be in the photo at all. I asked what they would post instead.

“A lot of Japanese use their cats,” she said.

“They’re not in the photo with the cat?” I asked.

“Nope. Just the cat. Or their rice cooker.”

“I once saw a guy posted a funny street sign,” volunteered Rinko, thirty-three. “I felt like I could tell a lot about the guy from looking at it.”

This kind of made sense to me. If you post a photo of something interesting, maybe it gives some sense of your personality? I showed a photo of a bowl of ramen I had taken earlier in the day and asked what she thought of that as a profile picture. She just shook her head. OH, I GUESS I CAN’T HOLD A CANDLE TO THAT STREET SIGN DUDE, HUH?

For me, the most engaging part of the book was seeing insights that later ended up as jokes in Master of None. I endorse and seek to emulate this kind of creative reuse! As for meeting a nice woman, the gossip rags tell me that Ansari was in a relationship with pastrychef Courtney McBloom for a while, but they parted amicably last year. So it goes.

5 things (various)

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:17 am
glass_icarus: (rolly bird)
[personal profile] glass_icarus
From [personal profile] magnetic_pole, since I'm failing at posting anything else.

5 things you’ll find in my bag: lip balm, headphones, pencil case, glasses, ballet shoes

5 things you’ll find in my bedroom: photos from friends, whiteboard, A:TLA DVDs, yarn bag, way fewer books than expected (our bookcase is in our living room & I left my SF/F collection in the US)

5 things I’ve always wanted to do: visit more places on my travel wishlist (Brazil, Greece, Istanbul, Prague, New Zealand...), try scuba diving, develop a yoga/pilates habit (unsuccessful so far), get a dog (someday when I have more time/$?), create my dream home library

5 things that make me happy: ♥ tea ♥, delicious food, music, guilt-free free time, THIS NEWS FROM NK JEMISIN!!!!!

5 things I’m currently into: zouk, choreographing with S, Agatha Christie film adaptations (I'm on a huge Miss Marple and Poirot kick), Yamato Nadeshiko Shichihenge, Otayuri (recs appreciated!)

5 things on my to-do list: finish exam prep, batch cook, clean house, schedule a massage, contact subletter

This is What Democracy Looks Like

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:06 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
The anti-racism march went well; a friend estimated maybe 3000 people attended (the news said 2200, but they based that on replies to the Facebook invite!). A kind soul had brought a pile of ACLU posters to hand out, so I got a "Black Lives Matter" one, which fit the occasion.

I skived off before the speakers, though, as I was pretty tired and had a long walk home. I'm counting that as exercise because my leg muscles certainly felt it.

I met a baby whose dad said this was her first protest outside of the womb. She was really cute. I saw another insanely cute toddler later on, who had disposed of one of her shoes...I didn't rat her out, though, she was giving me the sweet eyes. Also the mom was talking to the dad and I didn't want to interrupt.

Never did manage to meet up with Camille and Barbara, and didn't see Lionel and Shani and their kids, but did run into Amey from choir, Vash from the writing community, and C.'s cousin Grace.

Wednesday Reading

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:44 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I seem to be on a nonfiction binge.

Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen is a series of essays on various "non-conforming" female public figures from Serena Williams to Caitlyn Jenner. Each essay shows how perceptions of their public personas interact with American cultural norms and the backlash than ensues. I liked that each chapter focused on a different type of non-conformity. It was a fast, entertaining read, though I did bristle at one passing reference to "Harlequin romances," a phrase which appeared to be used as metonymy for the Romance genre. Really, honey?

From the introduction: this book considers the costs and benefits of smoothing one's sharp edges just enough to make it onto the cover of Vanity Fair or into the pages of GQ, multiplexes across America, or the White House--and the implication that unruliness is still largely the provenance of women who are white and straight.

Favorite quote: It's one thing to argue that you belong--it's another thing to actually believe it. As [Jennifer] Weiner's experience makes clear, part of the difficult, essential work of unruliness is shaking the status quo so thoroughly, so persistently, so loudly that everyone--even the very women behind that agitation, many of whom have internalized the understandings they fight so tirelessly against--can see their value within it.

The Supergirls: Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines (Revised and Updated) by Mike Madrid traces the history of female superheroes from the earliest days of comics to the present. The social history is fairly shallow, but if you're looking for an overview of the topic and a host of characters to research in more depth, you could do worse. Caveat: it's full of observations such as Thorn was as tough as they came, but dressed in a green leather halter-top and micro miniskirt with thigh high boots, she looked more like the entertainer at a bachelor party than the terror of the underworld.

I'd been reading Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction, edited by Isiah Lavender, off and on since maybe January. I'd originally picked it up for the essay about Octavia Butler's short story "The Evening and the Morning and the Night," but the essay I found most rewarding was "Questing for an Indigenous Future: Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony as Indigenous Science Fiction" by Patrick B. Sharp, as it described and connected some historical events of which I'd been ignorant when I read the novel, and which added quite a bit of depth to my understanding of it.

"Monteiro Lobato's O Presidente Negro (The Black President): Eugenics and the Corporate State in Brazil" by M. Elizabeth Ginway, "Mestizaje and Heterotopia in Ernest Hogan's High Aztech" by Lysa M. Rivera, and "Virtual Reality at the Border of Migration, Race, and Labor" by Matthew Goodwin all brought me new insights and new information. High Aztech was a DNF for me back when it was new, so I'm glad I got to read about it from another perspective.

I'm about midway through the Rosa Parks bio, and hope to finish it before I leave on vacation.
delfinnium: forest path (can't see me)
[personal profile] delfinnium
Kids are gross: on feminists & Agency

So I read this article. Kids are on my mind a lot these days, not because I want them, but because so many people around me, around my age, have children. When I went to visit my BFF in Japan earlier this year, I got to spend quite a lot of time with her baby. While I still do not want children, the delight my BFF and her husband and her MIL have in the baby is infectious, and I do love spending time with her. I look forward to seeing how she grows up, and what she might be like as a toddler, as a young child, and as a young teen and adult.

This article made me think about the things that children undergo - and yes, talking about children like they're children is an issue, I realised, because the way we talk about children has a tendency to treat them like walking, talking furniture, or pets, something to pat and cuddle even if they don't want to be, and even a three year old as in the article who can talk and express his opinions are freely ignored by adults who want to touch and poke him or demand hugs when he does not want to be hugged.

And then also laughing at the cute things they do - which might be just cute, or could be something that hurts the child because they're trying everything for the first time, and being laughed at for not being able to hold as many berries as an adult can, or not being able to hold a knife and fork as easily as others is... not fun. Not good.

Children already are sentinent, separate beings. It's something I should keep in mind when interacting with babies and children - especially since I'm getting older - there're going to be more children around I guess.

March Tomorrow Night

Aug. 15th, 2017 08:55 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
There's a "Philly is Charlottesville" march in Philadelphia tomorrow night, starting at Rodeph Shalom and ending up at Arch Street Methodist. I am summoning energy to go and be counted. Many events (Tuesdays with Toomey, etc.) have been during work hours, so I haven't been able to attend. This one, I can do.

I might not do a sign. All I can think to paint on one is Fuck Off, Fascists or perhaps Die Nazis Die, which while expressive of my sentiments, are probably not what the organizers are hoping for with this endeavor. High road, high road, high road....

Bruce Campbell is going to be at Barnes and Noble tomorrow night, too, but I am sure he would approve of me missing his visit to punch some Nazis march peacefully on behalf of tolerance.

Gym tonight. That will be a good thing.

Last night I ate a delicious cupcake [personal profile] drinkingcocoa brought me from Georgetown, and cuddled Ms. 9 until she could be cuddled no more and had to climb all over the living room. Ms. 13 and I measured our respective heights. She still has a small fraction to go before she's as tall as me.

Weekend Weariness

Aug. 14th, 2017 09:53 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I did squats, bench press, and row with barbell on Friday night, followed by intervals on the treadmill. The next day I was sore, but still restless, so after I did laundry, I went out shopping, with several things on my mental list. I had dinner with a friend, and on my walk home could really feel all the walking/post-workout soreness in my calves in particular.

Sunday, I did more laundry, dug out my big suitcase that I hadn't used in ages, and did most of my vacation packing. It is amazing how much one can fit into a big suitcase; normally I'm very, very disciplined about packing, and use those bags that suck the air out of piles of clothing, but that wasn't necessary; this trip will be by car rather than airplane. I'm not sure if we'll be able to do laundry that week, and I'd rather bring extra clothes and have space to pack dirty clothes loosely. Plus, there's room for print books! I put some comics in already.

I spent almost the entire weekend offline to spare myself from rage and sorrow as much as possible, which worked to some degree. I was depressed and tired, but found lots of distractions from the news.

Monday's Short Story!

Aug. 14th, 2017 12:16 am
murgatroyd666: (von Zinzer Hah!)
[personal profile] murgatroyd666 posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170814

I like the idea of a Raymond Chandler mystery story set in Agatha's world, although this P.I. -- excuse me, P.J. -- might turn out to be a slightly less conventional hero than Philip Marlowe was.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
and I am here for it. Ava Duvernay is adapting one of Octavia Butler's books "Dawn" for tv and I am here for it. And "Black America" is coming from Aaron MacGruder and I am here for it. And there will be wine this evening and I am here for that too.

this week has been

Aug. 13th, 2017 03:44 pm
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
pretty good on the personal front, if a bit busy. But on the world front there be nazis marching and that nitwit in the white house trying his best to fuck us over and a general ramp up of fear and loathing. I need to read hope in the dark again.  A big thank you and strength to all who are resisting the rise of fascism in our country. may those efforts prevent us from falling off the cliff. there has got to be a country that stopped this shit before the genocides right?

I did some writing this week. havent counted it yet, but  there were words. i need to learn to manage my time more effectively now so i will be getting the seven habits of effective teens workbook as soon as i have some cash.

The Summer Prince

Aug. 13th, 2017 11:38 am
wild_irises: (Default)
[personal profile] wild_irises posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
[personal profile] yatima has been carrying all the water around here, and shouldn't have to.

Earlier this week, I finished Alaya Dawn Johnson's The Summer Prince. I have had this book by my bed for months and months and months. I would pick it up, read some, like it, and then get distracted. Finally, I decided it was too good for that kind of treatment and got serious about moving through it.

It is an excellent and fascinating book, even though it never really grabbed me. The worldbuilding is awesome and the depiction of the inner lives of teenagers, affected by the different world they live in and nonetheless completely recognizable as the teenagers of our times, is especially well done. The The prose is beautiful and the evocation of the city is outstanding. The setting is a post-apocalyptic Brazil and effectively everyone is (from our perspective) PoC; Johnson explores class divisions and to some extent national divisions, but the key cultural rift she explores is age.

I can't quite figure out why it didn't have momentum for me, and I expect that will be different for other people. I found it well worth the comparatively slow going, and will probably re-read it at some point. 



links dump

Aug. 13th, 2017 12:16 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
A Twitter thread of "good Charlottesville-based nonprofits those Nazi jerks would really hate"; donate and/or share to the extent you can.

Correctives to an article that, I admit, I shared at first: smartphones aren't destroying a generation from Slate and Psychology Today.

Oops, this mobile puzzle game Humble Bundle only has a day left: I've played and liked klocki, Hook, and Deus Ex GO, and I'm in the process of playing Zenge.

The Secret Life of the City Banana at the NYT; I love logistics-heavy looks at ordinary things like this.

Tag yourself, I'm X (that's a legible text version of this tweet).

A minute's worth of zoo animals escaping the heat; I think the last bit is my favorite.
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
Australians of my generation have a particular reason to be fond of Journey to the West and it is the gloriously daft Japanese adaptation that was replayed endlessly on after-school TV. (For many queer Australians of my generation, myself included, Masako Natsume, the woman who played Tripitaka, is a pivotal figure in our secret lives.) The Monkey King resurfaces in Gene Luen Yang's graphic novel American Born Chinese, one of the books that taught my younger kid to read. (I was especially touched when in Yang's book, the three wise men who attended the birth of Jesus turned out to be Monkey and his friends Sandy and Pigsy. I'm a sucker for good crossover fanfic.)

All this to say that The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is yet another delightful take on Journey to the West, this time set in the hyper-competitive high schools of the Bay Area. Monkey is now Quentin, a handsome, short, brilliant and very annoying teenager who kept reminding me of Miles Vorkosigan, in a good way. Genie herself has a surprising connection with him, but is a three-dimensional character in her own right, with a sense of honor and complicated relationships with her parents and friends. Her efforts to balance college applications with supernatural obligations had a Buffy-ish resonance, and the various Gods and demons showing up in modern America will please Neil Gaiman fans. I found this a quick and enjoyable read.
yatima: (Default)
[personal profile] yatima posting in [community profile] 50books_poc
"Welcome to the Middle-Aged Orphans Club," writes Sherman Alexie, and as a middle-aged orphan myself, I did feel welcome, and seen, and understood. In July, Alexie cancelled part of his book tour because of complicated grief and being haunted by his late mother: "I don’t believe in ghosts," he writes. "But I see them all the time." Me too, brother.

Like Bad Indians, this is an intricate quilt of a book, part memoir, part poem, part dream. It's hard to imagine how it could be otherwise. The loss of a parent is a loss of meaning. For indigenous people, this is doubly true. Lillian Alexie was one of the last fluent speakers of Salish. Her death robs her son, and the world, of an entire universe.

This book, like Hawking radiation, is an almost-undetectable glow of meaning escaping from a black hole. If you haven't lost a parent yet it might be too much to bear, but if you have, it might feel like joining a group of survivors around a campfire after a catastrophe.

IN AUGUST 2015, as a huge forest fire burned on my reservation, as it burned within feet of the abandoned uranium mine, the United States government sent a representative to conduct a town hall to address the growing concerns and fears. My sister texted me the play-by-play of the meeting. “OMG!” she texted. “The government guy just said the USA doesn’t believe the forest fire presents a serious danger to the Spokane Indian community, even if the fire burns right through the uranium mine.”

...“Is the air okay?” I texted. “It hurts a little to breathe,” my sister texted back. “But we’re okay.” Jesus, I thought, is there a better and more succinct definition of grief than It hurts a little to breathe, but we’re okay?
rosefox: a green and white highway sign that says THIS LANE FOR ROSE (driving)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are in the woods. Every summer J's mom comes to the U.S. and stays at her house upstate, and we always spend at least one weekend here with her.

Last year it was our first driving trip as a family and we stressed a lot trying to plan it. This year we had three ready-made shared checklist documents for packing (for the car), packing (for the stay), and prepping the house. I said I wanted to leave by 7:30; at 7:20 we were pulling away from the curb. Flawless. Bonus: we didn't have to bring a portable crib or changing table because we'd already brought them on previous trips.

Last year we drove through beautiful summer sunshine, but the trip took five hours because of wretched traffic. This year we left after dinner, so even though we drove through torrential rain (I very nearly pulled off the highway at a few points) and then amazing thick fog (through which we were guided by a ghost car) it only took abut three hours. I like night driving and I like cutting two hours off our travel time but whew, I-87 is pretty terrible in nighttime rain, with no streetlights and very faded lane markers and water sheeting across the road.

Last year Kit was a perfect travel bean. This year they were also a perfect travel bean. During our mid-drive break for sandwiches and stretching, we took them into a gas station convenience store that they examined with the same serious yet optimistic expression they brought to the Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Then J got them a bag of Goldfish crackers and they were so excited that they hugged it all the way out to the car. Everything is magical when you're a baby.

Last year we got here in the afternoon and Kit was astonished by the trees. TREES. SO MANY. SO TALL. This year we got here at night and a very sleepy Kit was astonished by Glory's collection of teddy bears and other stuffed animals. When they went to bed we had to stop them from pulling every bear within reach into the crib with them (in addition to Toronto and Hug Face, the bears we brought with us).

(One of Glory's bears has similar fur to Toronto's but is a bit bigger and has a snazzy black beret. "Toronto's uncle!" X said. "That must mean Toronto is French-Canadian," I said. The beret bear is now Uncle Georges and I suspect he'll be coming back to the city with us to meet Toronto's recently acquired identical twin [always have a spare of your child's favorite toy/blanket, always always always], whom I tried to name Ottawa but J and X call Toron-two. We are very silly with our bears.)

(Toronto actually has nothing to do with Canada; I call it that because of T.O. for "transitional object". I will never get tired of this joke. Hug Face is because Kit hugs it with their face. It has a fraternal twin named Face Hugs for the same reason. We are very silly with our bears.)

Last year I wrote, "I didn't mean to type so much; I should go do my OT exercises, ice my arms a bit more, and get some sleep. I'm just so glad that at least in our tiny little corner of the world, everything went okay today. I needed that." This year I say: yes, that.

Tomorrow the rain is supposed to ease off in the morning. I hope Kit gets to go out and romp a bit in the grass and be astonished by the trees all over again.

Helsinki 2017

Aug. 11th, 2017 04:00 pm
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
The results of the Hugo Awards cheered me up some! I am so proud of friends who got a rocket statue and friends who didn't get a rocket statue. Go you!!!

(no subject)

Aug. 11th, 2017 09:48 am
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
[personal profile] chelseagirl
Also, I am completely obsessed with The Defenders, even though it is a week away. Oh, Matt, Jessica, Luke, that other guy!

fannish traces . . .

Aug. 11th, 2017 08:17 am
chelseagirl: Alice -- Tenniel (Default)
[personal profile] chelseagirl
I was googling myself the other day, because I got curious -- five or six years ago, an old college boyfriend googled me and found some of my fanfic from the 90s, when we innocently used our real names, assuming things on the Internet would forever be silo'ed.

[That turned out ok, because it was the now-decades old ASJ fanfic I've recently referenced. There was sex in some of them, so that actually was a bit embarrassing. I explained fanfic but since he didn't know the show, for him it was just stories. He ended up reading the whole series, and sent me emails about them over a period of six months or so, which was fun, as I hadn't thought about them in years and it was fun to have such an unexpected reader.]

Anyway, the person who ran the site they'd been republished on later removed my surname, at my request, because we don't cheerfully violate copyright under our real names these days. But I was curious if I was listed in Fanlore or anyplace like that, so I shaped a search with my name and fandom, and the answer is yes I am, attached to zine-based stories and awards. If I hadn't targeted the search, I suspect it would have been buried under my professional conferences and publications, and anyway, it doesn't really matter because fandom studies is long established as an academic thing.

I also discovered that in a recent academic book on Doctor Who fandom, a piece that I scripted and a friend drew back in the early 80s was actually cited in one of the articles, in a favorable way. At the time (just like now) I was not a congoer and the editor of the zine never sent me my contributor's copy, so I only saw the actual zine years later when the artist found a used one in a dealers' room and got it for me. (I had some xeroxes of our finished piece, meantime.) But years later, this fandom scholar had access to the zine. So very funny -- I've been cited before, but always for my critical pieces, not for a creative transformative work . . .Also, it was in a series of fandom studies books from a particular press, and I nearly bought the Dr. Who one at a conference, but ended up buying the Buffy one instead. If I had got the Dr. Who one, what a surprise that would have been, when I got to that article!

Friday's Short Story!

Aug. 11th, 2017 03:10 pm
skybreak: Reynard (Default)
[personal profile] skybreak posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170811

What Agatha and Van need is someone with experience in doing good and helping people, some sort of Adventurer. Someone who can be discrete, someone who is a Gentleman....

a vid daydreaming post

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:59 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So the stuff in the prior post reminded me that I've always thought of Bruce Springsteen's "Livin' in the Future" as a Dark Tower song, and now that the movie is not good, I was daydreaming what a constructed trailer for the . . . TV show, probably . . . that we should have got would look like.

This is almost certainly impossible because of the footage that would be needed to be created from whole cloth, so this is just for fun.

spoilers for all of The Dark Tower series )

Someone give me a bazillion dollars and I'll make it happen.

a vid rec post

Aug. 10th, 2017 10:38 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Here is a wonderful Steven Universe vid by [personal profile] skygiants, which is about loving and being together even if the world might end. Disclaimer: I introduced this song to her as part of a "cheerful apocalypses" playlist called "(and I feel fine)", which you can listen to via YouTube, and I am unreasonably pleased by that. But it's still an amazing vid, it packs so many character arcs and has such great bouncy movement to match the bouncy song. If you're up through . . . I think the latest thing I recognized was S04E16, "The New Crystal Gems", you should definitely watch it.


Clean Light_ from skygiants on Vimeo.



If you like, here are links for feedback: skygiants' DW, AO3, or click through for Vimeo.

Also, I can't remember if I've recced this already, but I made the playlist before I knew about "Dance Apocalyptic", so here is another fabulous vid, this one multi-fandom, by [personal profile] eruthros and [personal profile] thingswithwings:



Comment at thingswithwings' DW or click through for YouTube.

Sweating

Aug. 10th, 2017 08:58 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I am frustrated with my stress eating and my blood sugar and my weight gain this year, and also feeling depressed and helpless about it. And worrying about both politics and money, when usually it's only money and wanting to live alone but not having the money for it, that's a constant background whine.

(I am not in debt, which I know is great. This is the background Fear of Falling Into Poverty that is pretty much a constant even though I have a decent job and make more than most of my family members; it emerges more under stress. It also relates to worrying about my family being able to take care of themselves.) She says, in parentheses!

ETA: Hufflepuff, did you notice?

Time is an issue. I need to think about how to manage it better when I spend 40 hours a week at work, and about six hours at the gym. I am usually too tired to cook, or too busy, even though I know how and enjoy it. Managing time might help me to eat better and exercise better. I also feel like I could be writing, and making extra money doing that, but really don't have the spare energy/mental space for it at the moment.

I decided to switch up my workouts again, to see if that will help with everything. Also, workouts are Accomplishments. Monday, I did pushups, with my hands in normal position and also closer in, which is harder for me. I attempted standing on a box with one leg to lower and lift the free leg. I was terrible at that, especially on the left side, but could definitely feel the ache the following day! Then I did some familiar stuff, like leg and butt lifts and tricep exercises, and bounced a ten-pound medicine ball for variety. I sweated a lot.

Last night, I was still sore, mostly in my shoulders, so I tried fifteen minutes on a Spinning bike, alternating standing with sitting. The sitting is really uncomfortable because of the narrow seat! Then I did fifteen minutes on a recumbent bike, not something I really do much. I sweated a lot doing those things, too.

Not sure about Friday, but maybe one of those horrific stair machines or something? And looking up some other bodyweight exercises.

I'll be on vacation from the 19th to the 25th or 26th...not sure how much exercising will happen that week. But hopefully, it will be good for me mentally.

trailers with The Dark Tower

Aug. 10th, 2017 12:02 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Geez, I almost forgot. Which is impressive considering how many of them there were.

FYI: I link to IMDB because it's stable, but on some of these, it adds these few seconds at the start that weren't in the theatrical version? So if there's a title screen that included "Official Trailer," what was in the theater started after that.

Flatliners: it is too! soon! for a reboot!

Only the Brave: I could have sworn this had a different title. Crushingly obvious-looking "inspired by a true story", about a forest-fire-fighting unit.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: I know the first of these has some devotees in fanfic fandom, but I don't go for mentor/mentee, and this just screams "trying way too hard" to me.

It: that looks pretty good! I don't do horror so I'm not getting near this with a ten-foot pole.

Birth of the Dragon: quasi-Bruce Lee biopic, which possibly has been recut to focus less on a white dude, whose presence still seemed weird and out-of-place in the above trailer?

The Hitman's Bodyguard (the version we saw had fewer swears and not the end bit either): okay, I may have been pummeled into submission by this point, but I did actually smile. Not going to see it, mind.

The Dark Tower (2017 movie)

Aug. 9th, 2017 11:18 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
So . . . that was a thing.

Okay, it is actually shaped like a movie. It required (at least) one explicitly-acknowledged "just because" in order to make the plot work, but by and large it was shaped like a movie and, as far as I can tell, got its exposition across—very obviously, granted, but I'm starting to think smooth exposition is no longer something movies care about? (Feel free to provide counter-examples.)

As a standalone movie, it's . . . unexceptional? I thought some of the special effects were oddly shoddy and uninspired, but it does contain gunfights, Idris Elba being grizzled and badass, and Matthew McConaughey waving his hands around, so if that's a thing you wanted from seeing the trailers, then you'll get it. I'm not sure that it would particularly zing or feel fresh, but it does generally provide what it promised, though there's a lot more of the kid, Jake, than one might expect.

(This review has movie spoilers but amused me and seems about right: The Dark Tower Is Not That Terrible — But It Does Feel Like a Copy of a Copy of a Copy, by David Edelstein at Vulture.)

As an adaptation, it makes some interesting choices, most of which I did not like.

all the spoilers for the movie and the entire book series, so many spoilers )

Comrade Detective

Aug. 9th, 2017 10:43 am
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
So there's a six-part miniseries on Amazon Video right now called Comrade Detective. It purports to be a rediscovered buddy cop show from mid-eighties Romania, Eastern Bloc propaganda/entertainment. It isn't; it was filmed in Romania in 2017, with Romanian actors, and then dubbed into English by actors like Channing Tatum, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Nick Offerman, and occasionally guest stars like Debra Winger and Daniel Craig.

Leonard heard about it on Twitter and suggested we try it. I thought it was going to be sort of a longform SNL skit. And then I thought it was going to be kind of a nostalgic buddy cop show with a few jokey swipes at Cold War anti-American propaganda. And now we've watched all but the last episode and I think the show is doing, or trying to do, something much more interesting, and is using and critiquing the copshow form better than Life on Mars did.

It's useful to me to think of Comrade Detective as having four audiences (1 & 2 being Watsonian and 3 & 4 being Doylist):

1. the in-universe Romanian political censors
2. the in-universe Romanian citizenry (purportedly the main audience for the show)
3. the actual main audience, mostly middle-class US residents
4. Amazon corporate & media critics

Audiences 2 & 3, plus some of 1, are reasons that people do or say things in Comrade Detective (e.g., claiming that the Romanian healthcare system is the best in the world, or arguing that health care is more of a fundamental human right than freedom of religion); audiences 1 & 4 are reasons people don't.

But I want to watch the final episode before I make strong claims. Anyone else here watching?
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I forgot to include my fanfiction reading last week, so I'll do two weeks worth of recs in one post.

Better Than To Bend by silentwalrus is a WWII-era threesome (Peggy Carter, Bucky Barnes, Steve Rogers) with splendid dialogue and sex scenes I read all the way through and enjoyed. (I've written too much erotica, I think; I get bored easily.)

Emergency Contact by Feldman has Avengers characters turned back into teenagers, but I swear it is good even if you hate that trope. One of the "kids" is Nick Fury, which I loved, but I wanted there to be more of him.

Twelve Birds of Christmas by adi_rotynd features Sam Wilson and a lot of birds and bird crap and also Odin. It is delightfully weird. Incidental threesome (Sam/Steve/Bucky).

Franklin P. Nelson: Super-Attorney by enthusiasmgirl is, well, what it says on the tin. Foggy ends up as the attorney of record for various superheroes, since Matt keeps having to take sick days. Also, Jennifer Walters (She-Hulk) went to law school with Foggy and Matt, which is so brilliant I want it all the time. Like, a whole series of them together.

Oasis by sholio is a perfect story when you are feeling stressed; Pepper asks Bucky to create a rooftop garden for Stark Tower. I could read a whole series of this, too.

we'll all arrive in heaven alive by napricot is a post-WWI Wonder Woman story in which Diana decides to bring Antiope and Steve Trevor out of the underworld. It has loads of cool Greek underworld details. Hades and Persephone for the win! Let me know if you need spoilers.

Wednesday's short story!

Aug. 9th, 2017 12:00 am
murgatroyd666: (von Zinzer Listen up!)
[personal profile] murgatroyd666 posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair
http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20170809

*** IF *** this is canon, then it tells us that a third person will survive the saga!

rec: I remember you/hello monster

Aug. 8th, 2017 06:10 pm
colorblue: (Default)
[personal profile] colorblue
First, if you live in North America, Dangal, aka my favorite movie of the year (which is saying a lot because this year there were a lot of really great movies that came out), is on Netflix.

Second -- I just finished watching I Remember You/Hello Monster, a 2015 k-drama, over the weekend, and it was kinda like an unexpected sucker punch I am still recovering from. I almost dropped the drama after the first couple of episodes, because I didn't really care for either of the leads. But I am so glad I stuck with it, because the second male lead, Park Bo-Gum as Jung Sun-Ho, was a revelation. I think the last time I've admired an actor so much was Hu Ge in Nirvana in Fire. He stole just about every scene he appeared in, and just watching the expressions on his face, the smallest quirk of his lips or upturned eyebrow, was rather mesmerizing. (And it didn't hurt that he had the most complex storyline, either.)

There are some head-scratching moments in the drama, especially when it gets to the underlying psychology of sociopathy, and the ending was rather flat and whitewashy. But the storyline between Jung Sun-Ho and Lee Hyun was one of the most compelling I've ever seen, especially the way the tension kept winding tighter and tighter until the payoff scenes in episode 12, which was just sheer brilliance. I want to be able to craft scenes like that, storylines like that.

Anyway, if you've watched this drama, tell me what you thought about it! And if you haven't -- I don't want to give too much away, because part of the fun of watching this drama are the plot twists. But if you like psychological thrillers, unhealthily complex and twisted relationships, (extremely) morally ambiguous characters given a kdrama twist (amnesia, mistaken identities, multiple hospitalizations and surgeries, etcetc), elaborate mind-games, and dialogue that contains multiple layers of meaning, with much more left unsaid, you should give it a try.

And because this is me, some mvs:

The first, which has minimal spoilers, a one minute character sketch of Jung Sun-Ho:



Featuring the main cast, and with more spoilers:



Read more... )

Score Five for Me!

Aug. 7th, 2017 08:16 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I did not change my sheets this weekend as I would have liked to do. However, that was not on my list of five goals! So go me anyway!

I exercised Friday night, despite not feeling terrific. It was not my best workout, as I had expected. But I think it was probably good for me.

I ate Korean barbecue on Saturday, followed by homemade cheesecake at friend B's house, and looking at travel photos of C's trip to Turkey (some of which I had missed the first time around). I also got to pet B's super-fluffy cat Pretty. Pretty is reportedly not the sharpest tool in the shed, but she sure is - you guessed it - Pretty.

Sunday, I dragged myself out of bed early and did laundry before heading out to the Second Street Festival on Sunday, where I bought some lovely soap and part of a host gift. Then I went back across town to hang out with Ms. 9, who is getting over a cold. She was feeling good enough to eat all of her beef stew and also to finish off mine.

Staying off the internet worked out well because I was too busy to log on, except to google something for Ms. 9.

Two more weeks before I go on vacation with C., to visit L., who used to have a LiveJournal but abandoned it for the Book of Faces.
chelseagirl: (Peggy Carter)
[personal profile] chelseagirl
. . . and that (my previous post) makes me think of fannish trauma, which is I guess what I need to call it.

I 'ship the hell out of Peggysous -- Peggy Carter + Daniel Sousa forever, as far as I'm concerned. And yet, it rips my heart out every time I watch the end of Captain America: First Avenger and see Peggy and Steve saying goodbye and then seeing him wake up decades later. The love that could have been.

(It's also interesting that Chris Evans thinks they never got to, you know, but Haley Atwell has suggested they were at it during odd moments all over Europe. The hopeless romantic viewpoint versus the more pragmatic "they were soulmates, it was wartime, of course they did".)

And every subsequent Cap or Avengers film where Peggy is referenced. Tears me up, every single time. Because even though I love Peggy and Daniel, I mourn for Peggy and Steve. I'm a sap like that.

Meanwhile, I just rewatched Jessica Jones (for, um, the fourth time) prior to The Defenders coming out soon. And Jessica/Luke just rips my heart out, especially those final episodes where he's been Kilgraved and she thinks it's real. Where while he's unconscious, she says she never saw a future with anyone, but she could have seen a future with him, and she would have liked that future.

And then in Luke Cage, they paired him with Claire Temple, whom I adore. I have loved Claire in every one of the Netflix-Marvel shows, and she was nearly the only thing that made Iron Fist bearable for me. (Jeri Hogarth's cameos helped, too.) And Defenders previews make it clear that when Luke gets out of prison, he and Claire are back together. (Claire using his catchphrase "Sweet Christmas!" during IF also kinda made it clear they were keeping in close touch while he was away.)

Claire is so much more emotionally stable than Jessica, and she was smart enough to walk away from Matt Murdock because she saw the darkness in him. Claire is quite literally the best. BUT . . . of course there is a but.

I'm not a comics reader, and the only thing I knew about Jessica Jones going in (besides that I've always liked Krysten Ritter) was that she was Luke Cage's wife and that they had a child together. And Ritter and Mike Colter had chemistry that just burned up the screen. So when they ended up apart at the end of the series, I wasn't too worried. Heck, Claire even seemed to be shipping them, in her cameo appearance.

Except for the case of Steve Rogers and the Carters. Because (and don't laugh too much at me, if you're Marvel-literate and you're reading this), I do know that in the comics, Steve is with Sharon Carter. And that when the MCU pushed that in the last movie, it did not really seem to take for a lot people, including me. Now there are rumors about that Comic Con reel and whether Steve will try to use one of the infinity stones to bring Peggy back somehow.

But the comics' Peggy was blonde and American, not brunette and British. And she ended up with a Howling Commando, not an SSR officer. She's kind of not entirely the same character.

Which is me trying to differentiate. Because I need Jessica/Luke to be the endgame. But I don't know comics Jessica at all, and if she's less messed up than tv Jessica by the time she and Luke become a thing. I cannot imagine Ritter's Jessica as the mother of a child, at least not until a lot more character development and emotional healing happens. I do know that Luke is with Claire in the comics at one point and she leaves him because . . . well, for similar reasons to why she never hooked up with Matt. So maybe if the shows continue long enough . . . but I'm rarely the kind of 'shipper who gets this invested. What is it about Jessica/Luke for me?

The other thing I loved rewatching is the friendships. Especially Jessica and Trish. I was surprised to see there were more Jessica/Trish stories on AO3 than Jessica/Luke, because I love them so much as a friendship, complicated but so deep, and sex makes it almost cliched. (I was really disturbed to see how much Jessica/Kilgrave has been written, by the by . . . ) Also Jessica and Malcolm's friendship and how the caretaking roles reverse as Malcolm's true self emerges. So glad to see Eka Darville's name in the cast list for The Defenders; wish I'd seen Rachael Taylor's there, too, but maybe we'll get a Trish Talk cameo or something . . .
chelseagirl: (Wentworth writing)
[personal profile] chelseagirl
I'm still on my revisiting old fandoms kick, or actually, trying to figure out why that one show inspired me to write so much. Especially because it wasn't actually my favorite show at the time -- it was something from the past that I was discovering and enjoying the heck out of, thanks to fannish networks, but this was at the time when the greatest show in the history of television was actually airing. Buffy. What else could I possibly mean?

Unlike many of you, I never felt the need to write Buffy, though. I did one Spike/Dru story and something silly about Harmony, and that was pretty much it. I was satisfied watching things unfold as they happened, and though I read some fic, and was interested in venues for conversation about the show, I never really felt like I needed to intervene with canon.

Because of the structure of ASJ, it allowed for a lot more fannish intervention -- since it was about two guys with prices on their heads travelling around and trying to stay out of trouble long enough for their amnesty to come through (because of course they were good bad guys, who only robbed, didn't kill), storylines were pretty much wide open. And episodic television, as opposed to arc television, doesn't leave everything you've written becoming invalidated the next season. (Plus canon had been closed for like 25 years by then, while at the same time, there was an audience.) One of the reasons I'm unlikely to dig up my old Forever Knight or Life on Mars fic to post on A03 is because most of it's gotten joss'ed; when I reread it, I see the situations I was responding to and how the fic was very much of that particular moment. It was my way of being part of the conversation about what was going on in my fandoms in real time.

I've also been thinking about it because I recently went to the first signing event for a friend who began as a fan writer, subsequently did her MFA, and just released the first book of a historical fiction trilogy with Harper!

As for me, I want Peggy Carter back on our screens like burning, in whatever format, but the fact that Agent Carter in its current format is finished makes it a lot easier to fic. Please please PLEASE have her heading up SHIELD during Captain Marvel. Have Steve use the time stone to bring her back in Infinity Wars. Somehow, somewhere, Marvel Studios, please give me more Peggy & Howard founding SHIELD, and yes, please have Daniel Sousa be the mysterious husband from The Winter Soldier. But meanwhile, I can occasionally feel a fic coming on . . . I'll never have time like I did when I was in grad school and single and could steal away an entire day or two here and there for writing. But once in awhile . . .
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
[personal profile] starlady
source: The Clone Wars
audio: Daft Punk, "C.L.U. (Paul Oakenfold remix)"
length: 4:40
stream: on Vimeo for people in Germany, password: theforce
download: 217MB on Dropbox
summary: Beware the dark side. 

My 2017 Club Vivid premiere! 



tumblr | AO3


I watched all of The Clone Wars over the course of the past eight months or so--the (re)watch was originally scheduled to coincide with the release of Rogue One, but then November happened. Somewhere around October, I realized that I wanted to make a vid about the show, and that I wanted to use this track. This is the easier vid to make from the show; its complex exploration of sentience, personhood, and free will playing out with the clones and the droids is more difficult. I also decided fairly early on that I wanted to make this vid by colors--the lightsabers go from blue to green to red by the end of the vid, just like the galaxy slides further into chaos and the fall of the Jedi and the Republic. The black darksaber, something of a wild card in the morality play of the lightsaber color codes, appears at the beginning, middle, and end. 

I'm really happy with how this vid turned out. It was a fairly easy vidding process, possibly because I was using an extensive spreadsheet and because the realities of who fought who meant that I was somewhat constrained in my clip choices at each point through the timeline, until I hit the wall of trying to find copies of episodes that weren't TV rips with logos and started tearing my hair out. Anyway. May the Force be with you.
brainwane: My smiling face in front of a brick wall, May 2015. (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
Every ... year? or so, Leonard and I find an offer for a free month of Netflix and take it, and watch a chunk of Netflix-only stuff, then cancel. For instance, we did this when Season 4 of Arrested Development came out.

Evidently a bunch of other folks have caught on that the current White House bears a strong resemblance to the Bluth family. In particular: "'House of Cards w/ the characters of Arrested Development' is th most accurate description of our current political situation i've ever seen".* And indeed I am also catching up now on House of Cards (I'm a few episodes through Season 4), which I find is just as escapist now as The West Wing was during the Bush 2000s. As Jonathan Sterne pointed out in July 2001, The West Wing was Star Trek in the White House: beyond The West Wing's "kind of wish fulfillment, where the people at the top of the executive branch actually believe in what they're doing and work on principle", The West Wing also, like Star Trek, is "stories about the ambitions of the professional-managerial class". Well, I guess I feel about House of Cards now as Leonard felt about Dave (1993) when watching it in 2007 ("Well, this president sure is a jerk, and he cheats on his wife, but at least he didn't start a disastrous war or have people tortured."). In its fantasy of competent governance and, you know, "hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue" and so on, House of Cards has really achieved the effect of "Slytherin West Wing" in at least one viewer (me).

Anyway, so, I just watched several episodes that have dream sequences that bored me, and now I'm asking myself what it is about dream sequences and monologues that makes it easy for me to label them "self-indulgent". Maybe it's because I can imagine myself as the writer, banging out a scene and loving it more as an expression of my own fantasy than as an integrated and effective component of the communicative act. Maybe it's a genre/medium expectation that I should reexamine. Anyway, reflecting.

Leonard does not watch House of Cards; he is watching the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 which I tried a little of. Those of you who enjoy MST3K: what proportion of the jokes (during the movie) do you find funny? Leonard has a whole taxonomy of MST3K jokes and I wonder whether it is really as hard to find good observational/commentary jokes, 3 times a minute for the length of a bad movie, as he seems to think. I guess I could try it myself and see I DO NOT NEED MORE PROJECTS I REJECT THIS EXPERIMENT GET OUT OF MY HEAD

* If you look back you'll see further and deeper Arrested Development comparisons going back several months, e.g., from mid-November, "2016 is the worst Arrested Development/House of Cards crossover fanfic I've ever had to live through". Oh, and for fun: "America right now is what you'd get if Dan Brown tried to write a Le Carré novel."

Short-term Goals

Aug. 4th, 2017 08:08 am
oracne: turtle (Default)
[personal profile] oracne
I submitted my PW review! So my weekend is free. I have small short-term goals.

Goal one is to exercise tonight. My stomach has been a little funny since last night, but I am hoping it will improve by this evening. If I don't feel well, I won't go to the gym.

Goal two is laundry, which is a weekly goal, but still takes effort to accomplish.

Goal three is going out for Korean barbecue on Saturday, which won't take a lot of work on my part.

Goal four is the Second Street Festival on Sunday, which again is a fun goal, but does take the effort of getting out of bed, getting dressed, and taking the L.

Goal five is to stay off the internet as much as possible this weekend.

I need to do plenty of other things, but I'm focusing on these five.

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